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Posted May 17, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Beach music, history enliven weekend

By Josette Keelor -- jkeelor@nvdaily.com

Music and history highlight a weekend already spilling over with festival activity. Mayfest has sprung in Strasburg and the Wine and Craft Festival will line the streets of Front Royal. But those looking for something different might find just what they need in Edinburg, New Market or Winchester.

This weekend, Theater Shenandoah will celebrate its return to the stage at the newly renovated Edinburg Opera House by performing "A Fresh Start," a cabaret featuring songs from Broadway musicals. Performances will be at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Theater Shenandoah is a community theater run by Mike and Sue Home, who plan to offer four main shows a year by amateur actors and staff and possibly more programs for children, dance classes and area Scouts.

Edinburg Opera House is located at 107 Center St. in Edinburg. Admission to the play is by donation, and food and beverages will be available.

For more information, contact 984-3972 or visit www.theatershenandoah.com.

Make the weekend educational as well as fun by being part of the 148th anniversary of the Battle of New Market, in which 1,200 Civil War re-enactors are expected to take part.

Held on the Virginia Military Institute's New Market Battlefield, the event is the oldest battle re-enactment in the nation, and one of few held on the historic site.

On May 15, 1864, Confederate Gen. John C. Breckinridge's 4,000-man army, including 257 untested cadets from VMI, defeated a Union force of over 6,000 under Gen. Franz Sigel in one of the South's last significant victories of the Civil War, according to the website www.vmi.edu/newmarket. Overall, the Confederates suffered 531 casualties, compared to 841 for the Union force. Among those killed or mortally wounded were 10 Virginia Military Institute cadets.

On Saturday, living history presentations will demonstrate Union and Confederate military tactics and camp activities, and historical interpreters will portray civilian life during the Civil War era, including medical treatment, domestic crafts, and agricultural work. Activities new this year include a National Park Service program, Valley Campaign in a Box at 1 p.m., and a commemorative re-enactment of the First Battle of Winchester at 2 p.m.

Sunday's activities will include a Civil War-period church service and living history programs, followed by the re-enactment at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets will be available at the gate, and proceeds support preservation and interpretation efforts at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War and New Market Battlefield. One-day tickets for the re-enactment are $10 for ages 10 and over; children age 9 and under will be admitted free. Local residents who present proof of a New Market mailing address will receive free admission.

For more information, call 866-515-1864 or 740-3101, or visit www.vmi.edu/newmarket.

Cap off the weekend on Sunday night at Piccadilly Public House in Winchester, where the Beach Music series will begin and continue once a month. The band Chairman of the Board will perform this Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on the boat stage outside at 125 E. Piccadilly St.

For more information, call 535-1899.

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